There are a few positions at which the Kansas City Chiefs are undoubtedly blessed with an abundance of talent. At one position in particular, you could say the franchise has been historically lucky or unfairly loaded: tight end.
Consider that current starting tight end Travis Kelce is already bound for an induction ceremony of his own one day in the hallowed halls of Canton, Ohio. Kelce is the class of the National Football League at his position, the very best veteran who continues to take on new contenders every year for someone to grab the torch for the next wave of players only to fade at Kelce’s astonishing consistency at the position.
In 2019, Kelce became the first tight end in NFL history to put together four consecutive seasons of 1,000 yards receiving or more. That was an incredible feat of consistency even then, but he’s gone on to extend that streak by two more seasons. I there anyone who doesn’t believe he can keep that streak going for as long as he wants?
Earlier this year, Kelce became the fastest TE to ever reach 8,000 yards, and a couple of months later, he officially leaped Rob Gronkowski to land in the NFL’s top 5 tight ends ever for career receiving yards. With such a strong resume, what’s amazing is that he’s still going strong as one of the league’s elite pass catchers at any position.
Given all of this, it’s quite surprising to see the Chiefs so enamored with others at the position. They’ve drafted Noah Gray in the fifth round last year to be a promising pass-catcher himself for the next few years at the same position, and it hasn’t been difficult to sign solid blockers like Blake Bell in free agency. That would typically round out the position, but the Chiefs even have an exciting developmental prospect in Jody Fortson who looks like a consistent red-zone mismatch in the making.
Here we’ve named four players, three of whom are already still scheduled to be around contractually beyond 2021, and yet the Chiefs have stashed three more tight ends on injured reserve (and even signed one of them in the last few days). Who are these tight ends and what could they offer? Let’s take a look.